We all know that consuming too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, but some surprising activities could also cause dental damage.
Good dental hygiene habits, a healthy balanced diet and regular dental check-ups are all key in maintaining optimal oral health. But did you know that some of your favourite leisure activities could be detrimental to your teeth and gums? Read on to find out which of your daily habits could be having an impact on your oral health.
For many of us, there are few things better than a hot cup of tea after coming inside on a chilly day but, did you know that drinking very hot liquids after coming in from the cold could cause cracks in the teeth? Superficial cracks can develop when the tooth is exposed to a sudden change in temperature. This might sound alarming, but it is important to note that cracks of this kind only really occur if you are exposed to extremes of temperature frequently.
If you are a frequent traveller and have fillings in your teeth, you might have noticed pain in your teeth whenever you fly. This is because changes in altitude can sometimes cause very small pockets of air to form and become trapped in deep fillings. Because the air pockets are trapped at a pressure that differs to the cabin pressure, you may experience pain and discomfort. The same phenomenon can affect areas of decay in the teeth that have not yet been treated. Fortunately, this discomfort should resolve within just a few hours of landing. If, however, the pain persists, we recommend that you come in and see us for a check-up.
Using an inhaler for asthma
According to studies, the medications contained in asthma inhalers, known as beta agonists, have been linked to a heightened risk of tooth decay. The medication, which works to relax the muscles around the airways, tends to be slightly acidic. If you use an inhaler, simply try and limit contact between your teeth and the aerosol medication and rinse your mouth with water after each use.
If you enjoy swimming, but tend to do so with your mouth open, it may surprise you to learn that certain levels of chlorine can contribute to dental erosion, as well as tooth discolouration and sensitivity. This generally only occurs in cases where the chlorine content in a swimming pool has not been properly regulated or adequately maintained. If you use a public pool, try and keep your mouth closed when you swim to limit exposure to the chemicals in the water. If you have your own pool, make sure that you check the chlorine levels regularly.
Certain hay fever remedies
Unfortunately, antihistamines, which are often used in allergy medications, tend to cause a dry mouth. Having a dry mouth can increase your risk of oral health issues, such as tooth decay and gum disease. If you suffer from allergies like hay fever and need to take antihistamines regularly, it can be helpful to chew on sugar-free gum in order to increase your production of saliva. Also, make sure that you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Opening packaging with your teeth
Teeth are often damaged when people bite on items other than food — packaging, fingernails and ice are all some of the most common culprits. Using your teeth to bite on hard objects can cause serious damage, such as cracks and chips. Try and avoid using your teeth for anything other than eating — for the sake of your oral health!
If you would like some more advice about taking good care of your teeth, we encourage you to come in and see us for a personal consultation. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here. Our team is highly skilled and experienced and looks forward to welcoming you to our practice!